Are you an affectionate person? You’re probably nodding your head, because we all believe ourselves to be affectionate. What you might not realize is that what you consider to be affection, might be someone else’s complete opposite. Which is probably the case if you’re wondering how to get your boyfriend to be more affectionate.
I’ll put it this way, are you touchy feely? Do you like hugs and touches, kisses and cuddles? I do, I’ll openly admit it, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else around you feel the same. Does that make them cold and heartless? No! It means that they simply prefer their personal space and like to show they care in other ways instead.
I am a prime example of this, because while I am that touchy feely person, my boyfriend is the total opposite. That’s probably unfair of me to say, because occasionally he is a little cuddly, but generally speaking he is less so than me. That leads me to feel unappreciated and unloved occasionally, but I also realize that’s probably unfair of me to say.
The reason? Because he shows his affection in other ways, such as making my favorite meal or bringing my favorite wine home occasionally. Small things, but they mean a lot.
So, before I get into the how to get your boyfriend to be more affectionate chat, first ascertain whether you are different characters or not. If you’re super-affectionate and he’s less so, do cut him some slack if you can think of other ways he shows you he cares. We don’t all work or think in the same way! [Read: The signs your guy is falling for you even if he hides it]
Why might he be less affectionate than you?
It’s important to think about why he might be a less affectionate person. Some people just don’t like being touched, full stop, but there is also the possibility that maybe he is less affectionate outwardly because of something which happened in his past. Perhaps he had a rough upbringing, or maybe he was in a former relationship which was empty of affection.
Past experiences shape the way we are in the present day, and it could very well be that he is carrying baggage into your relationship, which you’re assuming to simply be coldness. [Read: How to talk about a past relationship with your partner]
You also need to ask yourself very honestly whether you’re mirroring. I do this sometimes without even realizing it. If someone seems cold with me, I automatically act the same way, because it’s a defense barrier, and my wall goes up.
Are you being a little unaffectionate because you’re sensing that from your partner? This could make him even less likely to show you affection, because he’s wondering why you’re not doing the same!
It’s a vicious circle, but it’s one you need to examine before jumping to conclusions, because that’s a real danger. If your partner was once quite affectionate and then suddenly became less so, you might start to worry why. Is he seeing someone else? Does he not care anymore? These are all very unlikely scenarios. The likelihood is that you are past the honeymoon stage, and he’s got a little lazy!
It’s a real scenario. I once asked my boyfriend why he doesn’t hold my hand anymore, and do you know what he said? “We’re past that now.” Are we really?! I had no idea there was an expiration date on affection! [Read: Is the honeymoon period starting to wane?]
Finding your love language
Next, think about your love language. This is the way you express affection and love to your partner. For me, it’s cuddling, kisses, making nice meals, checking in on him regularly to make sure he’s okay, etc. That’s my love language.
What is yours? Then identify your boyfriend’s love language. Part of how to get your boyfriend to be more affectionate is first understanding how he offers affection to you in the first place. [Read: The different love languages and how to express your love]
I mentioned earlier that my boyfriend tends to bring small things home, like my favorite wine, a little chocolate etc, without being asked. I’ve come to realize that this is his way of expressing affection, and it’s a silent way of saying “I thought of you.” I appreciate that now, but it took a little figuring out!
Does your boyfriend play fight? Mess with your hair jokingly? Does he send messages telling you nice things rather than say it to your face? These are all ways of being affectionate, but without doing it directly. [Read: The dos and don’ts every girl with a new boyfriend should keep in mind]
How to get your boyfriend to be more affectionate?
In this case, perhaps he’s scared of doing it to your face because he’s worried about rejection.The answer? Reassure him and make sure that you are showing affection back. Flirt a little, do nice things, tell him what you like about him, etc.
Make sure you’re actually giving him affection in the first place, and affection that he can recognize!
Approaching the problem
If after all this soul searching and flirting, you still aren’t getting anywhere fast, another part of how to get your boyfriend to be more affectionate is to face it head on. This is something to approach with caution and make sure that you do it in the right way. Do not criticize, shout, or become overly emotional.
Remember, there is always a reason for the way someone behaves, and if it’s simply that he’s holding back because of past experiences, or he genuinely finds it hard to express emotions, becoming emotional or angry isn’t going to help the situation.
Be calm and open, and simply explain that while you can see he cares about you, sometimes you just need a little reminder of it in a more direct way, e.g. you need a little more affection. If he becomes defensive, don’t mirror his stance and become defensive yourself, instead, keep it calm and light. Something like “I’m not criticizing you at all, I think you’re amazing. I just sometimes wish you’d give me a cuddle or hold my hand sometimes.” [Read: 13 reasons why your guy could be acting distant]
It’s okay to have needs
You don’t have to give reasons for the way you feel. If you need affection, that’s fine, it’s part and parcel of being human. We all crave affection from time to time, it helps us feel loved and appreciated. Having said that, see his side of the coin, and realize that you can’t change the way someone is, e.g. if he simply isn’t an emotional person. [Read: How to show affection in a relationship if it doesn’t come naturally]
What you can do is explain what you need, and if he loves you as he says he does, he will show you in small ways. Giving you the affection you need.
Don’t expect miracles overnight, and don’t expect huge, sweeping gestures. Sometimes a kiss on the forehead says more than a million words ever could. Affection is about the small things, the gentle and loving things. [Read: 25 signs he really loves you even if he doesn’t say it out loud]
Make sure that the conversation ends on good terms, e.g. a smile and a kiss, or something equally as lighthearted. Make sure he knows you’re not pulling him down or ordering him to do something. You want affection to be given freely, you don’t want it simply because you’ve asked for it. Equally, make sure that you don’t start to become over-affectionate, trying to push him into doing the same.
[Read: The signs you’re being used by a man and you should ditch him]
Learning how to get your boyfriend to be more affectionate can take time. By approaching the issue in an open way, explain your feelings and hopefully change the situation towards a more affectionate and loving stance for the future.
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